Today in Postal History


United States P.O.W. Mail
December 21, 1944

This letter sheet was addressed to an American prisoner of war in Germany.
It was prepared using the authorized letter sheets by a
T/5 (Technical Sergeant) stationed at Camp Detrick.
Camp Detrick (now Fort Detrick) is northwest of Frederick, Maryland.

I cannot decipher the town in the machine cancel dial.
There don't seem to be any towns near the camp which fit the letters I think I see.
Help, anyone?

Unfortunately, this cover didn't get very far.
When it got to New York City, the post office people who processed
this mail returned it to the sender after adding a label of explanation.
The printed form stated that "This article bears an endorsement,
slogan, postmark, or postage stamps intended to promote our war
effort which are objectionable to the German government, and,
consequently, it will not be delivered to the addressee."
The source of this regulation was Postal Bulletin 18687, dated January 25, 1944.

The stamps were probably the objectionable item.
The stamps are the 1942 3¢ violet Win the War issue (Scott 905).
One can imagine that they would have been unwelcome in Germany at that time.
As an aside, the alternative choice was a stamp from the Presidential series of 1938.
I believe that the Win the War stamp was the
principal stamp used on first class mail during the period.

The letter sheet was given a New York Morgan Annex
machine marking and returned to the sender.

Another unusual item encountered during a war!


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